Yeah, that’s fun because you never know what might pop up that will maybe inspire.
FRANCINE: I tend to make a list, and I have designations. Is it a youth book, a YA, is it fiction, non-fiction, is a devotional… And then I make those little designations, and at the end of the year I kind of look at that list and see, ‘Am I over-reading any one particular thing?’
I think a writer should be well-read and read lots of different things because we’re always learning. We’re observing. That’s part of being a writer, to get a taste of all kinds of things from life. All kinds of points of view.
Absolutely. And you can be well prepared for what you might have to write about.
Congratulations on Redeeming Love being made into a movie! How do you feel, it’s the 30th anniversary and now there’s the movie adaptation?
FRANCINE: We’ve been trying for about 15 years. We worked with various companies and I read numerous scripts.
I finally decided, ‘I think I need to write the script and show what I’m looking for.’ So I got Final Draft and I read some books about script writing. Then I wrote the script and sent it in, just to show them what I was looking for in a script. And they said, ‘Well, we like this one.’
Wow! That’s cool!
FRANCINE: That was like, ‘OK! My first attempt at a script!’ And then I worked with DJ (Caruso, the director of the movie), so he came in with a director’s eye.
I wrote in a linear style, so it was just like the book straight through. Well, if you go into a movie, you’re not going to want to watch all the abuse up front in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Most people would want to get up and leave.
He restructured the screenplay, and then we worked together on scenes to cut length, but make them more dramatic, that kind of thing. So, I wanted to have his name on there—we’re sharing writing credit on it. That was really quite an experience.
Then Rick and I were able to go to South Africa and watch some of the filming! But at a certain point, you have to turn it over to other people to do it, and they did an amazing job. It’s a whole other art form that I don’t know anything about.
And it’s hard topics. I’m not sure what the rating is going to be, but I’d be stunned if it is a PG-13 because we’re dealing with prostitution, we’re dealing with abuse. They’re not topics that you’re going to want to bring a child to be entertained. But they’ve made it a beautiful love story.
It was so hard to find a man who could play Michael, because so many of them couldn’t pull off purity. And they didn’t understand the dynamics between Michael and Angel. They didn’t understand Michael is loving her in a Christ-like way, giving her time and wooing her the way God woos us.
We found a young actor in Britain, Tom Lewis. He’s classically trained, a very, very good actor. He can show all those different nuances in his expressions so that there’s so much going on there. He’s a new actor, but I’m sure he’s going to be a big star one of these days.
And then Abigail Cohen is amazing as Angel. I couldn’t be more pleased with the people cast in the movie. Or the sets—the sets are phenomenal. They did a really great job.
This must be so exciting, seeing your words translated onto the screen!
FRANCINE: It’s so different when you read a book. There’s even more in the book, of course—you’re inside the minds of the people you’re reading about, where you can’t do that on screen. But there is real power in seeing it on the screen. It almost has more impact seeing it visually than reading it, so I hope a lot of people will go.
The whole thing with the movie is that we want it to glorify God. We want Him to be at the very center of it. That when people walk out of the theater, they’ve seen a story about how much God loves them, and they have hope when they walk out. That’s been the prayer from a lot of us all the way through this whole process.
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A fresh hardcover edition of the timeless classic, complete with a facsimile signature bookplate page! Sold into prostitution, Angel lives to hate—until Michael Hosea weds her. Feeling overwhelmed by his unconditional care, she runs away. But Angel cannot escape the One who loves her even more than Michael, the only One who can heal her. 512 pages, from Multnomah.
Redeeming Love Movie – First Look